In the wake of top Starcraft II pro team SlayerS disbanding questions are being asked about the game's market position, particularly in the face of League of Legends' growing dominance.
A piece on Forbes
underscores the issues. "While excitement for League of Legends has been bursting through the ceiling, the opposite is true for Starcraft", writer Paul Tassi notes. He points to flattening and dropping eSports viewing figures and prize pools.
Meanwhile Riot Games' competitor, League of Legends
, is reportedly sucking up 25% of all time spent in Korean internet cafes with some 32 million players spending a billion hours on the free-to-play title.
The words 'free-to-play' are key there. Starcraft II
requires a purchase and the upcoming Heart of the Swarm expansion will demand that players dip into their pockets. League, meanwhile, is free and offers new (also free) content on a weekly basis. The upshot is the high level loyalty League of Legends engenders. Players willingly part with cash in microtransactions because they feel they owe the developer.
Another accessibility issue is in the difficulty. "(SCII
) is simply not as fun for casual players. Blizzard has devoted an incredible amount of energy to balancing the game for professional 1v1 matches, they forget about the 95% of their player base who doesn?t like to or want to play the game that way", the Forbes piece notes.
Furthermore, there's the focus League of Legends
gets thanks to its status as Riot's one and only game, compared to StarCraft II sitting next to the likes of World of Warcraft
There's more in the Forbes article
. It makes for some interesting reading.